S.R.Krishna Murthy (B. 25-11-1936) obtained B.Sc. degree (4' Rank) from the University of Mysore and simultaneously a two-year Diploma in German in 1957 (1' Rank), and joined the services of the L.I.C. of India, through a competitive examination in 1957. While in service, he passed the B.L. degree from the Bangalore University and the Fellowship of the Insurance Institute of India. He had volunteered in the UN ECAFE (now ESCAP) Conference in 1956 held in Bangalore. He was an Actuarial Consultant to Canara, Corporation and Vijaya Banks from 1972 to 1975; which he resigned because of the Emergency declared by the Govt.
Throughout his service; along with his job, he had engaged himself in extra-curricular activities. He served the Bangalore Insurance Institute; and the Insurance Institute of India from 1965 to 1992 in different honorary capacities. He has actively participated in the technical Conferences of the Insurance Institute of India every year from 1968 to 1992, barring two years. Several of his technical works are enshrined in Insurance journals. His work 'National Economic Policy on Wages, Prices and Profits' had the unique distinction of being considered by a Committee; constituted by the Government of India under the chairmanship of the noted economist Dr.S.Bhoothalingam in 1978.
A member of the RSS since 1945, he has been responsive to social and national issues. Since 2006 he is researching into Valmiki Ramayana and Vedas; and authored books in Kannada, English and Sanskrit. He is member of WAVES-India; and has been participating actively in national and international Seminars conducted by various Universities and other academic bodies.
As an adolescent, I had the habit of perorating on any subject off the cuff, but Mr.B.S.N.Mallya, the then Editor of Vikrama Kannada Weekly, cured me of it. As a co-passenger on Bangalore-Madras passenger on 11 -4-1955, when. I casually commented that Tamil was a crude language, he countered me with 'how of much of Tamil have you studied?'Similarly, when, on the same occasion I commented that Karnatic Music was the only classical music, Mr. R. Kasinath, of Kirloskar, another co-passenger, countered me with 'which Uttaradi Music concert have you heard. Go home and listen to the Uttaradi Music from Lalita Ubhayakar on Bangalore AIR. You will know.' My hearty salutations to both of them as ever. The two made me delve into any subject thoroughly before I make a comment on any subject or respond to any questions.
So, when Mr. H.S.Nagaraja, an Engineer, queried me 'do you know that ,Sankaracarya has never mentioned the name of any God in any of his writings?' in 2002, I admitted that I had not read Sankara at all, and took time from him to answer his query, which made me go through Sankara's voluminous writings. Similarly, in mid-November 2006, Prof. H.S.Nagaraja Swamy, a retired Professor of Hindi, commented that one Prof. Polanki, author of `Sithayana', swore to an assembly of erudite scholars that Valmiki has written some incommunicable words that Site addressed to Laksmana, on her abandonment. I confessed that I had not read the Valmiki Ramayana in original, and assured him that I would answer his question after a week's interval, which assurance I did keep up. Incidentally both these gentlemen of the same name-sake are my brothers-in-law.
My studies revealed that even the ardent votaries of Ramayana have faltered with their misinterpretations here and there, mostly due to their over zealousness, which has duly prompted the adversaries to exploit those lapses to misrepresent Valmiki Ramayana and its characters. Naturally that revelation made me delve into all the literature on Ramayana, in Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, and English, that I could lay hands on. I found to my surprise that even great scholars have erred in their appraisal of Valmiki Ramayana, mostly due to the complexity of innumerable manuscripts, each differing from the others, sparsely or grossly, and at times narrowly and at times widely. Besides, some scholars had been so carried away by their wholesome admiration of some characters of the epic, that they misjudged others. Bias or incomplete data on the Hindu concepts contributed often to the misgivings. The ancience of the Sanskrit had its own toll of misinterpretations. There have been misjudgments due to lack of due application also. I consider it my bounden duty that I should share my findings on them with my scholarly fraternity that is interested in Ramayana, and incidentally on Hinduism.
I have not scribbled here anything that is already well said by others and well-settled issues; but limited my writing to only questions that I have researched on, on which doubts had been expressed by others, or on misrepresentations either due to oversight or due to misunderstanding of the subject or, sometimes, due to prejudices.
I am highly thankful to H.H. Sri Rangapriya Swamiji and to Shathavadhaani Dr. R. Ganesh, who were kind enough to point out, after scanning my scribblings in Kannada that my research would be incomplete unless I pay my attention to the Critical Editions of Valmiki Ramayana, produced by the Oriental Institute, Baroda of the M.S. University of Baroda. I could locate them after much effort and time at the Academy of Sanskrit Research at Melkote.
I acknowledge my deep gratitude to H.H. Sri Rangapriya Swamiji, who was kind enough to whet the manuscript on the chapter titled Vedas and Scriptures; in spite of indifferent health. He remarked 'what you have written is novel yet correct.' I am also highly thankful to H.H.Sri Harshanandaji Maharaj of Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore, who gave me valuable suggestions after going through the said portion of the manuscript. His advice that I should go through the History of Dharmaastra by mahamaliim P.V.Kane was indeed very helpful.
I acknowledge with immense gratitude my indebtedness to the following, for their kind indulgence towards my studies:
1. The Principal and the Professors of Sri Chamarajcndra Sanskrit College, Chamarajapet, Bangalore 18; in particular to Dr. S.N. Sampathkumaran, Prof. Manjunatha Bhat Vinayak and Smt. N.G. Geetha; who made various editions of Ramayana and other connected scriptures available to me for my studies :
2. Sri Krishnaprasad, Dy. Registrar, Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote and his Staff;
3. The Authorities of Mythic Society, Bangalore;
4. The Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore; and Ms.Nagamani in particular;
5. The Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs, Bangalore; and Mr.Srinivasan, in particular;
6. The Ramakrishna Mutt, Bangalore;
7. The Madhwa Research Foundation, Bangalore;
8. The Oriental Research Institute, Mysore;
9. The Rastrothana Parishat, Bangalore; and
10. Libraries in Delhi (Sarojini Market) and Varanasi, All of whom lent me their unstinted support in my research efforts.
I am especially indebted to H.H. Sri Rangapriya Swamiji, to whose words of appreciation, the credit of this work goes. I equally owe this to the liberal blessings that H.H. Sri Bharathithirtha Swamiji of Shringeri showered on me. The unreserved compliments of various scholars on my Kannada work have had their share in the production of this work.
Mr. Subbarayappa has rightly raised two questions: one, the propriety of my including here in this book on Ramayana, my views on Hinduism; and two, lack of uniformity in my style. I do have valid reasons. First, Balakanda and Uttarakanda are held to be extrapolations by many orientalists, because these kandas abound with references to Vedas, Hindu gods, and rituals, which are an anathema to most of the western scholars, who were mostly Christian and some Jewish; which our own scholars blindly ape without reason. Second, many scholars perfidiously hold that Valmiki did not know what a sea was. I want to show what a universal knowledge our Vedic seers like Valmiki had, by revealing what a layman like me knows of it. Third, lack of uniformity in the style of language is one of the arguments adduced by Holtzmann and Jacobi in holding that the above two Kandas are interpolations, which question I have analysed within in detail. Fourth, most of the criticisms like that of Sambhuka vadha are patently products of misapprehensions about Hinduism and because of misinterpretations based thereon. The quintessence of Ramayana will be missed clue to absence of clarity on Hinduism. Even ardent admirers of Hinduism are flooded with aberrated views of the religion; partly due to lack of education on the subject and mostly due to misrepresentations and misinterpretations by vested interests; since unfortunately religion has today become politico-commercial. Fifth, Valmiki expresses that one of the objectives of writing the Ramayana was to explain the Vedas - vedopab Rmhanarthaya. Therefore, for a better appreciation of Ramayana, brief glimpses of Hinduism and its traditions, as seen by me, are produced separately in The Science of Hinduism. However on insistence of some scholars like Swami Abhayanandand Swami (Dr.) Veereshananda Saraswathi of Ramakrishna Yogagram, I have given the philosophy of Valmiki also herein.
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